During the summer, psychology major Amanda Rowan ’20 served as a residential hall leader for the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) at the University of Georgia (UGA) where she managed sixteen residential counselors and coordinated daily activities for more than 200 high school students each session. A former TIP camper, Amanda began working for the program after her first year at Wesleyan.
As the youngest member of TIP’s UGA administration team, she experienced tremendous growth in the areas of leadership, endurance, and conflict resolution. “I grew as a leader by trusting myself to make executive decisions, and I developed levels of endurance I never imagined possible through the constant push and pull of this job. I also managed complicated situations that required a great deal of care and patience.”
With increased responsibility this summer, she drew from her psychology coursework at Wesleyan and previous TIP experiences to train her staff on the challenges they would face while working with teenagers. Amanda credits this experience for shifting her career focus in the field of psychology. “For several years, I thought I would go into clinical psychology. This internship taught me that as much as I love working with students, I would become too invested in the conflicts clients might bring to me, and I would likely burn out very quickly in that field.”
All of these skills will be essential as she pursues her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience and a career in abnormal psychopathology research. Her goal is to help develop more effective treatment models for mental illnesses.
Amanda’s father Jim has been a member of Wesleyan’s faculty since 1993. Her mother Barbara joined the faculty in 1996 having previously served in other roles at the College. Amanda says,
“I’ve known since I was three years old that I would attend Wesleyan College. I grew up meeting incredible young women on campus and my parents told stories about the amazing things Wesleyan graduates go on to do. All I ever wanted was to be that kind of woman.”
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